Lakefront properties, secluded forests and winding trails among land you can buy from DNR

Everyone knows someone in Michigan who "goes up north." If you're not a beneficiary of a family who already owns property on Mullett or Burt Lake or anywhere north of Clare, then you're friends with someone who is.

That pilgrimage usually takes place on an early Friday morning of a long weekend, when too many people and their friends pile into a minivan that was already crowded enough. Usually, there is a dog too. The first night features a barbecue, the first full day is spent on the lake and that drive home is never fun.

Someone also forgot a cooler.

Every year, tens of thousands make the pilgrimage up I-75 or 127 to their respective vacation huts to enjoy just a sliver of that pure Michigan.

If you haven't indulged in the tradition - well, now's your chance.

The Department of Natural Resources is auctioning off hundreds of acres of publically-owned land deemed inadequate for management or recreation. 

“Much of the land offered at this auction is isolated from other DNR-managed property, which creates some management challenges. Other parcels are included because they offer limited public recreation benefits,” wrote Michael Michalek, DNR real estate resource specialist in a news release.

It typically land acquired when back taxes aren't paid on property and it returns to state management. But because much of the land surrounding those parcels are also privately-owned, it holds little value to the DNR. So instead of holding onto it, the department is auctioning off the land. While some of the land is buried in forests and adjacent to roads, other parcels have lakefront views, prime bird-watching spots, and isolated trails.

The cost of some of the 148 parcels of land range from $500 to $89,000. You can see the full list here. The auction starts Dec. 10 and goes until Jan. 8.

Here are some of the highlights:

Location: Lower Scott Lake in Allegan County. 
Acreage: 5.5
Price: $23,950

(Courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources)

Location: Near Lake Michigan in Delta County
Acreage: 7.9
Price: $13,155

(Courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources)

Location: Watermill Lake near Pere Marquette River in Lake County
Acreage: 1.45 
Price: $7,775

Courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources

Location: Near Manistee National Forest in northern Newaygo County
Acreage: 23.7
Price: $29,865

(Courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources)

Location: Lincoln Boulevard in Newaygo County
Acreage: 4.4
Price: $9,000

(Courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources)

Location: Near Mackinaw City and access to Lake Huron in Cheboygan County
Acreage: .35
Price: $4,200

(Courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources)

Jack Nissen is a reporter at FOX 2 Detroit. You can contact him at (248) 552-5269 or at